America vs Europe; Which is the Best Place to Live?
Europe As Seen By The USA
- An Amusing View Of Europe, As Seen By the United States of America
From the creative mind of www.flickr.com/people/alphadesigner/ Posted by JoeInSouthernCA, on Flickr.
Well, I've never lived in America although I have been there a few times now. And I feel that this more than qualifies me to answer this question about the good, the bad and the ugly sides of living in America and Europe!
I live in England and have also lived in France, so I'm answering very much from the European point of view. (And with my tongue slightly in my cheek..)
There are some important things to consider when weighing up the pros and cons of living In Europe and in America. Here are a few that I've thought of.
1. When you go into an American shop the people who work there smile big smiles and say "hello!" Then when you leave they tell you to have a nice day. From a European point of view this is unnatural and quite freaky.
2. American roads are huge. And they have strip malls. I learnt what strip malls were on my last trip to the States. They are clusters of shops or restaurants by the side of the road. (Before finding this out I had my own ideas about what strip malls might be but I'm glad I was wrong!)
Anyway, the main problem I have with these malls (apart from the pollution and, dare I say it, soullessness..) is that you have to be able to drive to get to them. As a person who likes to walk or take public transport, this puts me at a bit of a disadvantage as far as strip malls are concerned. And this also holds true for many other American locations, where the highway is the only way!
3. Americans put lots of ice in their drinks. So much so that you can't really taste the drink itself; you just get a heavily watered down version of the drink that it's trying to be. Do Americans know what coke or root beer actually taste like?
4. But speaking of root beer, this is in fact a GREAT BIG plus-point for American living! It might taste remarkably like sore muscle rub, but I just love the stuff, and one of my highlights of going to the States is that they sell it everywhere. And in such humungous servings! The same goes for iced tea.
5. And then they have Altoids. Although produced in the UK, Altoids are not actually sold here, they're all shipped off to America! Life is cruel..
6. America has been inaccurately portrayed on TV! When I first visited the States I was expecting all Americans to be loud and large, just like on Roseanne. I was expecting all New Yorkers to be arty and neurotic, like in Woody Allen films. And all San Franciscans to be new-age and magical; - you mean 'Charmed' isn't real?! On the whole I found Americans to be pretty normal people. Maybe I watch too much TV...
7. In all my travels to America I can't say that I've ever actually wanted to live there. Don't get me wrong I've visited some very lovely places, but for me it's just too big. I feel lost in such a big place. Everything is SO BIG, (whereas I'm quite small!)
Sir Terry is such a legend! This makes me chortle every time.
8. And to me American culture seems quite foreign. I get European culture a lot more, it means more to me. I don't understand about things like baseball or American football, and don't see what's so great about them, (sorry!). I don't really get American humour fully; Europeans are drier and more full of sarcasm. More self-deprecating. You would think that I would feel more at home in a country that speaks English, but strangely I never did.
9. Whereas I would happily live in many of the places I've visited in Europe; I feel as if I fit in much better. European countries are so diverse, each with their own rich culture, languages, food and strange customs, yet I somehow identify with those customs - even if they're German, Polish or Swedish and I'm not.
I like our peculiarities. Black pudding and deep-fried Mars bars, frogs legs, borsht and Marmite. I like our state-funded health-care systems, our school uniforms and our unfeasibly narrow roads. I even like Morris Dancing. And although I don't always like our particular weather, there are other parts of Europe which can be relied upon to be hot when we're cold.
10. Oh, and we have the Eurovision Song Contest.